The theme of friendship. It reaches an all-time personal level whenever this becomes a focus.
First and foremost, I want to apologize for slacking on reviews. Normally I don’t try to make excuses or digress from what I’m actually supposed to do here, but I feel like I need to explain myself so that my tardiness can be validated. And believe me, it kind of ties into what has transpired in the past two episodes, namely friendship. It really can be a cruddy world, but there are people who are genuinely caring and trusting.
I am currently in South Korea and, thus, it takes up over a half a day from my previous anime-watching/reviewing schedule. Adjusting to the country and its culture isn’t so much the problem, but the work/orientation schedule is both fixed and all over the place, particularly for this month. And because I’m on my own for the most part, trying to make friends and appease their outgoing nature have been my top priority, leaving me exhausted when my anime are available for viewing. Which brings me to the theme of these two episodes: friendship.
I’m not the kind of person who has a knack for making friends. I keep those around me close, but I don’t search for social demands otherwise. In this sense, I feel like Ichiko and I have a common ground, though I hardly brag about my manly chest or summon some super awesome zodiac animals. And I’m far from perfect, but apparently, Ichiko is quite vulnerable herself. I don’t have some tragic past with Kugimiya Rie using me for her [character’s] own needs, but I can share my loneliness with her. I empathize with her. By the end of episode eight, Ichiko and I can both say the same thing despite our facade of feeling negatively roused: this thing called friendship is both needed and beautiful.
I do have to say that Rindou Ranmaru (Tomatsu Haruka) is kind of annoying. That’s the best word I got because Ranmaru is totally shounen-esque and cliched like no other: power-ups, superhuman strength, tough talk, wraps around the breasts and just flat-out omnipresent. Yet, Ranmaru is the kind of person who can positively reinforce Ichiko’s needs, which she has a bit of a hard time admitting until one of Momiji’s gadgets is put to use. It’s pretty much a typical series of events that made Ichiko from a sweet little princess into an egomaniac of sorts but the impact is there. I was waving my fist as if to say, “How dare you?!” It’s tough, isn’t it?
Episode seven introduces Ranmaru and her quirks. Call them abnormal, call them trite, it depends on which spectrum of the anime fandom you belong to and how much you’ve been exposed to either. Thanks to some good humor from both Ichiko and Momiji, Ranmaru slides right into the mix without missing a beat. Heck, throw in a word or two from Keita and it feels like there could be a nasty love triangle in the making. After learning of Ichiko’s past in episode eight, I wouldn’t be surprised if the triangle is recreated using Ranmaru’s promise as a tool for disaster. Romance always bring ruin to friendships, don’t they?
These two episodes seem to flow very smoothly together and watching them back-to-back helps make this an easier write-up. True, I haven’t really discussed the crux of the episodes in detail, but I think the mere point is enough. I mean, if you really want me to mention how Ranmaru goes from kinda dorky to totally chic, then I’ll just go ahead and add that she’s marvelously charming.
More so than Momiji, who still provides some heavily impacting words, Ranmaru’s involvement in Ichiko’s life is quite moving. It’s not about owing one another favors and such when they can start calling one another by each other’s given names, which is a truer representation in Japan that they’re close. I don’t get much yuri vibes despite all the blushing, but that’s because the two of them are starting to realize that this blossoming friendship is what they each want. To me, that’s all that really matters. It’s something I’m still working on in Korea slowly and steadily. I wish to have all sorts of luck but figure that being patient is all I can do, especially in a foreign country.
Not sure if this is the right place to say it but sign me up for the unforeseeable future here in Population GO.
GO Rating: 3.5/5 (for both)
Easily my favorite screenshot.